Cake Group focuses on social, partnerships to promote Havaianas

NEW YORK: Cake Group is helping to lead social media strategy for flip-flop company Havaianas, focusing on partnerships and branded content in its 2012 promotions.

NEW YORK: Cake Group is helping to lead social media strategy for flip-flop company Havaianas, focusing on partnerships and branded content in its 2012 promotions.

“You don't need to go and spend millions and millions of dollars to get a large-scale social community,” said Adrian Pettett, global COO and MD of Cake Group. “When you have a smaller budget, you need to be more creative and a bit more curious and daring.”

For Havaianas' 2012 campaign, the company will embrace new and old partnerships to launch products. Havaianas is partnering with Elle magazine to create branded content and promote its closed-toe sandal line, said Jim Anstey, US marketing director at the company.

Havaianas will work with Italian fashion brand Missoni to create limited-edition flip-flops for the second straight year, said Anstey. The company partnered with Gap in 2009 to launch pop-up stores. Havaianas has also established partnerships for the company with Disney and charity clothing organization Baby Buggy in the past.

Leveraging strategic alliances helps Havaianas get into the “mindset and lifestyle of the consumer,” explained Pettett.

Havaianas will focus the brand's new campaign on the “notion of exclusivity,” said Anstey, adding it will offer Facebook fans a 24-hour window to buy the Missoni & Havaianas collection online.

However, Havaianas does not offer fans special discount rates via social media because “it's very important to keep it premium,” said Anstey. Yet it does give its fans a first look and the opportunity to purchase new products on social platforms.

Pettett added that Cake grew Havaianas' Facebook fan base from 12,000 fans in 2010 to nearly 800,000 fans today, saying it is a testament to how social media community building is about engaging fans and offering them exclusive content.

Cake, which has been Havaianas' social media agency for about two years, also helped the company increase its Twitter following by 5,000 fans in 2011 to more than 12,400 followers.

“For us, it's really about getting the peer-to-peer message out there,” said Anstey. Our real focus at the moment is the Brazilian approach to life, so it's fun, spontaneous, passionate, and stylish.”

Cake creates videos for Havaianas and posts them on Facebook and YouTube. During the 2010 World Cup, Havaianas created special-edition flip-flops for teams in the tournament, and the agency produced a series of 90-second videos about the sport to get fans excited. The videos reached more than 2.2 million viewers on YouTube, Pettett said. 

Last December, Cake created a Pinterest portal for Havaianas, and the firm also made the company active on Foursquare two years ago, said Pettett.

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